Newcastle: Four signings targeted; squad to be "balanced"; full back returns

Rafa Benitez is hoping to add up to four new signings by the end of the transfer window and emphasised that his “best team” will look very different by the beginning of September, according to Chronicle Live.

“My best team will be different because we still want to bring in another three or four players,” said Benitez.

“Maybe it will be one, maybe it will be four – it depends on who is leaving and who is available. If we bring another two players, it will be because we think they can play.

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The Spaniard added: “If we are changing things, it is not because we are losing; it is because we still do not have our team.”

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Newcastle have already spent £45 million this window but have recouped a significant amount of that through player departures.

Funding will go towards new attacking players as Benitez looks to bolster the attacking options and flair available to him. “We are in the market because we have to fix these things,” said the manager. “I’m really pleased with the signings that we did earlier. All of them have been fantastic – we have seen that in pre-season.

“But it is not enough.”

New signings will undoubtedly mean departures as well, and the Shields Gazette reports the manager will continue to “balance” the squad as he sees necessary.

“It is very clear what we need to do,” said Benitez. “We still have to sign players because we need to balance the squad. “

But we also have to sell players, or allow players to leave, because that is important in balancing the squad as well. If you have 31, 32 or 33 players, it’s impossible.

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Benitez is keen to shift some of the perceived “dead wood” at St James’ Park, as the club have a substantial list of high earners that don’t feature in his plans as much as their wages would suggest.

Emmanuel Riviere, Henri Saivet, and Cheick Tiote are all believed to be surplus to requirements.

French full-back Massadio Haidara is edging closer to full fitness as he returns to first team training, which will prove a relief for fans and management alike.

The left back has suffered endlessly with injuries in the last three seasons, starting just 21 games in total.

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When he did play, even recovering from his injuries, many believed that he was a considerable step up from fellow left-back Paul Dummett.

Speaking to Chronicle Live, Haidara said: “I feel really happy because it has been a long wait. It is not full training but to be with the lads on the pitch is an amazing feeling.”

Haidara refused to target a return date but is looking to build up his fitness in the coming few weeks.


Featured image – All rights reserved by Paul Cram.

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